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What Are You Good At?

March 11, 2021

I believe that everyone is interesting if you just know what questions to ask. Everyone has a favorite movie, a favorite vacation story, a time when they were brave, or dump, or scared or somehow extraordinary. But, not everyone is a great storyteller. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t have stories.

I think talents are the same way. Everyone is good at something. Even you. Especially you.

First let’s get something out of the way. Society values different skills differently. That sounds stupid, but it’s true. If you are very good at throwing a ball through a hoop, society values that skill. If you are really good at making money, (Yes, it’s a skill) society thinks that’s pretty cool. If you can make a musical instrument weep, or express joy, society thinks you are special and valuable.

And athletes, entrepreneurs and artists are very talented. And it’s not wrong for society to value their talent.

Likewise certain professions are valued more than others. I spent my career in the IT industry. It’s funny that Information Technology, computers is the “IT” profession. For some reason, knowing your way around a keyboard is more valued than knowing your way around a socket wrench.

I’m a good IT professional and a poor mechanic. Fixing cars is hard. You can’t just turn them off and turn them back on again to reset the system. Maybe that’s why I like it.

I also am a fair woodworker. Working with wood is satisfying because you if you mess it up, you can chop up your mistakes and start over. That’s satisfying. And it can also be difficult. I built some cabinets a few months ago. The cabinets turned out okay. But, I have been stumped on how to make the doors. Cabinet doors are hard.

I have a good friend who is a professional remodeler. He makes custom cabinets often. I asked him if he ever makes doors.

I know my limits. I leave that for those who specialize in it.

I may end up going and having someone else make the doors. The ironic thing is that the guy who makes the cabinet doors, the stuff I don’t know how to do, probably makes less than I make working with computers.

Many years ago my brother, who’s a CPA was painting his house. He ended up falling off a ladder and suffered a pretty serious accident. My dad talked to him during his recovery.

How much do you make as a CPA?

About $100/hour.

How much do you think a professional painter makes?

$20/hour.

The lessons was learned. He was spending $80 to earn $20. My brother still won’t get on a ladder.

But, just because society has placed a price on certain skills and certain professions doesn’t mean we need to, or even that we should. I know people who are incredibly talented at game playing.Literally, that’s their skill. They are really, really good at playing a game. They don’t get paid for it. In fact, it costs them money to play. But, they do it anyway, and they are experts.

I have other friends who love to paint miniatures. Some paint DnD figures. Some paint Small plastic Star Trek ships. And the funny thing is these ship are already painted. These guys just want to make the ships look better. And they do.

I’ve known guys who were experts at camping. You might think that’s not a thing. But, for my friend Sean it was. Sean could take a handful of oats and a flint and steel and spend a week in the Utah wilderness and come back having gained weight and probably slept better than I do. He was really good at it.

So, how about you? What are you good at? In fact, there’s probably something you are the best at. It might not even be measurable. Reading, listening, noticing all the different colors of green in a mountain meadow.

Just as everyone has a story to tell, everyone has something they do well. Especially you.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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